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Questions still outstanding from Naughten meetings

15 October 2018

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour Dáil Communications spokesperson Séan Sherlock has said there are still outstanding questions about the numerous meetings of a government Minister with the remaining bidder in the National Broadband Plan tender that need to be answered, as it appears the tender process is now compromised.

Deputy Sherlock said:

"Since the Minister for Communications dramatically resigned last Thursday we still don't know the reasons for the many private meetings held with the head of the consortium that is the last bidder in the tender for the National Broadband Plan.

"We don't know the reasons for the four private meetings and why the lead investor was so intent on meeting with the responsible Minister on so many occasions.

"It is essential that answers are provided so that the Dáil is fully informed of any concerns about the tender for the National Broadband Plan.

"In the last year there has been significant changes to the make-up of the consortium and the associated service providers. If this is what the meetings were about we deserve to know.

"However, the minutes of a meeting with Minister Naughten and the lead investor David McCourt in June that were released on Friday shows that there was a discussion about the level of subsidy for the plan.

"If the other private meetings also discussed the level of funding from the State then it is clear that the current tendering process has been contaminated and compromised. However we need further information on those meetings."